Tuesday, March 09, 2010

Outside of a Dog, #83

"Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog, it's too dark to read." - Groucho Marx

On this day (March 9) in 1796, Napoleon Bonaparte, then just a young general, married Josephine de Beauharnais, a wealthy Frenchwoman from a Creole family. She became the Empress-Consort when Napoleon was named Emperor in 1804. In honor of the scandalous military man, we bring you books about France and it's history:

One hundred days: Napoleon's road to Waterloo - Alan Schon
Escaping from his exile on the Italian island of Elba, Napoleon made quick moves and sudden plans to meet the Duke of Wellington at Waterloo. Though history shows he failed here, this book explains the timeline of the exiled Emperor.
Bio Napoleon WAM

Josephine: a life of the Empress - Carolly Erickson
Napoleon married Josephine because of her connections. He had great ambition, and she had a sordid past. He renamed her (her given name was Rose) and wrote her love letters, many of which still exist today. Unfortunately, her past caught up with her, and the Emperor, too.
Bio Josephine WDB

The Passion - Jeanette Winterson
"You play, you win, you play, you lose. You play."
Set during Napoleon's era, The Passion tells the tale of Henri, a young chef who marches with the army and cooks chicken for the emperor-to-be. Henri falls in love with a girl named Villanelle, and in the lyrical style that only an author like Winterson has mastered, learns the meaning of both love and passion.
Fic (Storage) MTC

Chocolat - Joanne Harris
This charming novel set in the French countryside sets up a mother and daughter who travel "when the wind blows" from place to place. Vianne starts a sinful chocolate shop in the middle of a small town that has both problems and prejudices, not to mention a very strong Catholic presence, and learns many things about herself, her life, and her daughter.
You can also check out the sequel to Chocolat, written from three different points of view and set 4 years after, called The Girl With No Shadow.
Fiction Harris HPW EPL

A moveable feast - Ernest Hemingway
In the 1920s, Ernest Hemingway lived in Paris with his first wife, Hadley. Here is his slim biography/novella about living on little money and much fascination. This book was published posthumously in 1964.
BKD 818.52 H WMB

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